Since 2012, there has been a rise in more thoughtful and conscious messages in the hip hop community such as the likes of Ab-Soul, Joey Bada$$ and Mick Jenkins. Many have pretentiously attempted to emulate this wave but without sincerity in their intention. We’ve found a saturation of misleaders popping out the woodwork. In a place where the music we listen to on an everyday basis has little to say about the more important things in life (Love, Family, Education, etc.), an artist like Cee TreeHaven comes through as a breath of fresh air.
Born Cameron Somerset Trehaeven, Cee’s parents decided to make a move to the city of Durban eight months after he was delivered in Johannesburg’s Morningside Clinic. Since then, he has lived in and around the city of Durban with his parents and younger brother. Growing up, Cee was reserved and introverted in nature.
“I grew up being an awkward quiet kid that often felt out of place”, he says. “The stuff that was going on in my head was always so different to what everyone else was talking about.” This is often the situation of many creatives in their youth. In high school, he went through a stage of deep depression, at the same time his parents were dealing with financial and health issues, which have plagued them for a long time.
Having to experience these burdens at a young age left Cee looking for an escape from the world, and music has always welcomed those seeking refuge from the ills of this life. Cee grew up listening to what his parents would play in the house, like the rest of us. He recalls hearing music from Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors and UB40 playing in the house as a kid, and that proved to be his musical foundation.
Later on in high school, he started listening to a lot of hip-hop, as a result of his peers’ influence. In the afternoons after school, Cee and his friends would write and record songs as a way of passing time, which would become the start of his journey as an artist. They would exchange instrumentals and tracks with each other like it was a game to play. This sort of sparring would sharpen his skills as a producer and artist. During his first year of university, he was exposed to more indie, alternative and electronic music, which broadened his musical horizon even more.
Seven years of making beats and five of rapping has gotten him to a point where it is now time to share his music and energy on a more massive scale. “There is always a gap for conscious music, especially in a country like South Africa which has so many problems because of a lack of awareness and a lack of knowledge”. He makes it a point to present thoughtful and conscious music to people in a way they can resonate with.
His latest single, “Bloom”, was inspired by a fantasy he says he had in his mind of the ideal type of girl he would like to hang out with. The two features on the track came from longtime high school friends, Millz_likethewindmill and Champ031. This song is also a tribute towards cannabis culture, and TreeHaven’s aim is to get the topic of marijuana spoken about more openly, thus have the topic normalized.
“Bloom” has received a lot of love from the public so far. At the moment it is sitting at number six on the KFC SoundBite Chart, a platform for up and coming artists to showcase their talent. The platform has helped the track reach the ears of many influential people in the industry. Cee has put in a lot of work performing in and around Durban with his studio mates. “Bloom” has also reached the airwaves and has been played on a few of Durban’s radio stations including RadioDUT, VibeFM and Gagasi FM.
When asked about how it is being a producer and a rapper, TreeHaven emphasized strongly that he thoroughly enjoys doing both. Even though it may be more work, he says that he cherishes having full control over his musical creations. This has led the artist to develop a distinctive original sound. Currently, the producer/rapper is working on a twelve track EP titled “Cee Views”. Although he hasn’t revealed its release date he did mention that a few more singles are on the way to help us “#ceethelight before the full on solar flare”.
We can definitely anticipate something unique from this Durban artist and his upcoming project. Cee TreeHaven is a creative to look out for and has made it clear that we should expect powerful messages and vibrations to come from him in the future.